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Polar Bear

Pub Heritage Group have recently carried out a regrading of Real Heritage Pubs - click here for full details

East Yorkshire - Hull

Two star - A pub interior of very special national historic interest

The Polar Bear reopened on 24/8/21 initially only as a late-night music venue (10.30pm - 2.30am) and usually with an admission charge. However, music events are now taking place that start earlier in the evening and some have no cover charge. Discussions are to place shortly with the lessees to encourage them to take a more flexible approach e.g. opening when Hull City are playing at home.

Listed Status: II

229 Spring Bank

Tel: 07947 129014

Email: info@polarbearmusicclub.co.uk

Website https://www.polarbearmusicclub.co.uk/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/polarbearmusicclub

Real ale & Cider: Real Ale

Nearby Station: Hull

Station Distance: 1300m

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Hull) and Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub


This pub now operates as a music venue. Most nights there is an entry charge but there is generally free entry on Tuesday and Saturday nights. For details see their Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/polarbearmusicclub

The stand-out feature at the Polar Bear is its magnificent ceramic-fronted counter, one of only fourteen surviving in the whole UK and the largest of any with a curved front. Its manufacturer was probably Burmantoft of Leeds, and Hull can proudly boast of another example - at the White Hart (see opposite). The pub itself, whose name reflects its siting near Hull’s one-time zoological gardens, was built in 1895 by prolific local architects Freeman, Son & Gaskell and later extended and refitted by them in 1922 (for the Hull Brewery Co.). This revamp added elements like the ‘orchestra’ area with its splendid domed skylight, the fitted bench seating and the striking stone signage outside. Modern alterations in the early 1980s retained the separate back smoke room (now a games room) but swept away a small partitioned-off saloon from within the large front bar. Statutorily listed in 2005 following a successful application by CAMRA.
The Polar Bear, sited near Hull’s one-time zoological gardens, was re-built in 1895 by prolific local architects Freeman, Son & Gaskell and its magnificent ceramic-fronted bar-counter, by Doulton’s of London, is one of only fourteen remaining in the whole of the UK. (There is another in Hull, at the White Hart, Alfred Gelder Street). Other Heritage Pubs with a ceramic bar counter are the Black Horse, Preston, Lancashire; Burlingtons Bar (at the Town House), St Annes on Sea, Lancashire; Mountain Daisy, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear; Red Lion, Erdington, Birmingham; Garden Gate, Hunslet, Leeds, West Yorkshire; Golden Cross, Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales; Crown, Belfast, Northern Ireland Other examples can be found at Horse & Jockey, Wednesbury, West Midlands where a small part on the left has been lost; Castle, Manchester City Centre; Hark to Towler, Tottington, Greater Manchester where the bar has been moved; Waterloo Hotel & Bistro, Newport, Gwent, Wales which has no public bar facility; and there is one in China Red which was the Coach & Horses, Dunswell, East Yorks and now operates as a Chinese Restaurant.

The same architects extended and refitted the pub for the Hull Brewery Company in 1922, adding the grand-domed ‘orchestra’ area to the main bar, and the resulting layout is much as we see today – except that an old-style mahogany ‘Café Bar’ was sadly destroyed in alterations of the 1980s. The fitted seating (and the stone signage outside) are from the 1922 scheme. Statutorily listed in 2005 following a successful application by CAMRA.
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